A car accident can be a terrifying experience, and if you’re injured, it’s natural to feel anxious about things like medical bills, future physical limitations and/or pain, and more. However, when you find out that the other driver was drunk, and his/her drunk driving was a core reason for the accident and your injuries, you should know that you can still bring a civil case against the other driver. In fact, as West Virginia is a comparative fault state when it comes to car accidents and personal injury cases, evidence of the other driver’s drunkenness is often a strong indicator of his/her fault and wrongdoing that led to the accident.
As a Charleston WV car accident lawyer, attorney Charles M. Love has dealt with numerous cases involving drunk drivers. With over 18 years of experience handling a wide range of legal cases, attorney Love has the resources and in-depth knowledge of West Virginia laws to give you a diligent, experienced-backed legal representation. With the mounting bills accumulating from your accident, it’s essential to not hesitate and call the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV today.
Bringing a Civil Case Against a Drunk Driver
Some people believe that if they’re injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, then they cannot bring a lawsuit for damages. This is not true. For instance, even if the drunk driver was arrested and convicted of DUI, you still retain the right to bring forth a lawsuit claim for your injuries and any financial damages incurred.
Civil suits for drunk driving are quite different from criminal proceedings as well. In some cases, the defendant (the individual arrested for DUI) can be found not-guilty in criminal courts, but you can still win your case in the civil courts. This is due to the fundamental differences in how civil and criminal courts proceed.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
If injured or killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, either you or the next of kin can bring a civil lawsuit forth. In West Virginia civil courts, a personal injury lawsuit, your evidence, and your attorney will try to prove to the judge that you were injured and suffered financial damages. Moreover, you will need to prove to the courts that the drunk driver’s negligence and/or wrongdoing caused the accident. Because the other party was arrested for DUI, the police records serve as a strong piece of evidence in the case.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries, you are asking for fair and reasonable compensation for some of the follow damages:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Long-term expenses
- Change of life expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income from work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Wrongful death
Punitive Damages in West Virginia
Drunk driving is a serious problem in West Virginia, and State lawmakers and law enforcement are always trying to reduce incidents of drunk driving as much as possible. Therefore, in some personal injury lawsuits that involve drunk drivers, the victim may also claim punitive damages. Under West Virginia law, you may be able to claim punitive damages by properly showing that the other party was acting recklessly at the time of the accident. The victim of the accident can prove recklessness by showing evidence of the defendant’s intoxication.
Call the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV Today
It’s easy to feel angry at a drunk driver who injured you or a loved one. Fortunately, West Virginia civil laws have your back. When your injuries were caused by the wrongdoing of the other party, you shouldn’t have to bear the full weight of the expenses and mental anguish. You are entitled to full and fair compensation for the injuries incurred. Since 2014, Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles Love has helped numerous individuals injured in car accidents, and we are ready to fight for you as well. To speak with attorney Love over a free, no-obligation consultation, make sure to call our Charleston WV law office today at (304) 344-5683.